The Shops at Riverside

In the midst of the shopping center boom in Northern New Jersey, Simon Property Group (SPG) decided it was time to renovate one of its properties: the Shops at Riverside, in Hackensack. The center underwent a three-part renovation with phases one and two completed in 2017 and 2018 respectively, and phase three completed in July 2020. The first two phases of the upgrade focused on the main concourse, while phase three transformed an unoccupied upper level and the dated lower level concourse into a Luxe Court, which is now home to high-end luxury brands including new and existing tenants like Tiffany & Co., Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta, and Louis Vuitton.

5+ Design, who was responsible for creating concepts for all three phases, recommended NELSON Worldwide be brought in to realize their design for the renovation of phase three, which drew inspiration from the Broad Museum in Los Angeles to provide a luxurious look and feel that would attract sophisticated brands and customers. NELSON Worldwide served as executive architect, which  involved a 120,000-square-foot extensive refresh of the property’s exterior and interior to give the structure an updated, high-end look while piquing the interest of passersby. 

To fulfill the vision of museum-like opulence, the team specified a palette of white and neutrals on the walls, floors, and ceilings balanced with polished surfaces and mixed metals. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring part of the renovation is its feature ceiling with a modern, geometric architectural style. Located 35 feet above the floor, the ceiling features skylights that allow for natural daylight to shine all through the Luxe Court and provide a wow factor.

One of the main goals was to designate the Luxe Court’s entryway as a feature entrance to the Shops at Riverside. When customers approach the property off Route 4, this entrance façade is their first glimpse of the shopping center. As a result, the NELSON team developed a new entryway referred to as the Jewel Entrance, inspired by gemstones. In concert with a new landscape design, the grand entrance features a faceted glass façade flanked by two polished fin walls resembling a fine gem in a setting. Equipped with balanced glass doors, a glass canopy, sleek surfaces, and polished metals, the entry serves a new identity while providing an upscale hospitality level experience for customers. 

Located just inside entry nine is SPG’s concierge service that offers luxury assistance features such as valet parking and a lounge. Two new restaurant spaces will also be developed with similar scale and sophistication to match the new entryway. Debuting this fall, True Food Kitchen will be located adjacent to the entrance and is decorated with a wooden exterior and black metal to complement the glossy metals found in the entrance. LT Steakhouse will be located on the opposite side of the entrance and is clad in dark gray stone to accentuate the lustrous surfaces of the glass and metal. The two-story restaurant is also slated to open in Fall 2020. Additionally, for those who want to dine al fresco, both restaurants will provide new patio spaces in front of the restaurants by the valet drop off to synergize an active evening experience.

As guests walk through the Jewel Entrance, they are greeted by two, large living green walls, which were designed to emphasize the importance of wellness and provide a healthy green visual upon entry. In addition to these areas, a water feature is centered in the luxe court located in front of the Bloomingdale’s entrance, providing a calming visual as well as seating for shoppers to take in the magnificent architecture. Sprinkled throughout the court are art sculptures surrounded by plants as an extra layer of biophilic design.  The organic shapes of the art pods and fountain provide a nice juxtaposition to the refined angles of the ceiling overhead.

About NELSON Worldwide

NELSON Worldwide is an award-winning firm delivering architecture, interior design, graphic design, and brand strategy services that transform all dimensions of the human experience, providing our clients with strategic and creative solutions that positively impact their lives and the environments where they work, serve, play, and thrive. Our collective network includes more than 1,100 teammates in 25 offices, combining industry experience, service expertise, and geographic reach to deliver projects across the country and around the world. Client partnerships across the NELSON network include: Saks Fifth Avenue, Hershey’s, Kroger, Simon Property Group, Macy’s, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, SAP Fieldglass, Hilton, Target, T-Mobile, Dick’s Sporting Goods, American Girl, YUM! Brands, and many more. Visit to learn more.

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Status: Built
Location: Hackensack, NJ, US